Michelle Pfeiffer Has a Mature Outlook on Fame, Age, Beauty and Her Long Career

By Dan Zak
Washington Post Staff Writer
Sunday, June 28, 2009

NEW YORK -- The list of things Michelle Pfeiffer doesn't want to hear includes this sentence: "The way I see it, your golden age was 1987 to 1993."

And yet some of us are idiots, and say it anyway.

She responds to this declaration with silence. The hotel room freezes over. So, we fumble: Do you, um, think in those terms? In phases?

"No, not really," she says softly.

An excruciating pause follows. We contemplate throwing ourselves through the window, hoping the awkwardness dies when we hit Park Avenue. Perhaps we'll be licked back to life by a herd of stray cats.

The silence continues. Her blue eyes shimmer. She will win this staring contest.

"I sort of don't look back."

At all?

"No, not really," she repeats. Then the ice thaws a bit. "I've always had this fear of getting stuck in the past. Becoming, like, Norma Desmond or something."

* * *

Michelle Pfeiffer -- siren of cinema, three-time Oscar nominee, the woman on the cover of People's first-ever issue of "The 50 Most Beautiful People in World" -- is 51 years old.

Gloria Swanson was 51 when she played the delusional diva Norma Desmond in "Sunset Boulevard," a cruel back-lot drama about a movie star whose glamour wilted to grotesquerie as her audience moved on to newer, younger idols.

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